If you know Clint Eastwood and western films, then you definitely know Pale Rider. The 1985 classic has positive reviews all around the internet, with critics praising the plot and Clint Eastwood’s production. Keep reading to check out 14 facts about Pale Rider that you might not know!
1 – It’s no surprise that Pale Rider was a box office hit. The film was the highest-grossing western movie during the 1980s, grossing around $41,410,568.
2 – Usually, Clint Eastwood would commission a screenplay to be written before incorporating the theme of the movie. For Pale Rider though, he had an idea for the theme before a screenplay was written.
Still from Pale Rider
3 – The name of the film comes from the Book of the Revelation, where it refers to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The rider of the pale horse is Death, which ties into the plot of Pale Rider. Interestingly, in the film, we can see Megan Wheeler reading this verse when Preacher first arrives.
4 – In 1985, the film was entered into the Cannes Film Festival. Unfortunately, Pale Rider didn’t win any awards.
5 – Pale Rider was given a remake in 2007, titled Missionary Man. The movie was directed and written by Dolph Lundgren, who also plays the leading character. It’s set in modern times, where horses have been replaced by Harley Davidson motorcycles.
6 – Clint Eastwood also starred in a show called Rawhide, that aired throughout the ‘50s. One of the episodes was titled “Incident of the Pale Rider”, but it has no relation to the movie.
7 – Many people compare Pale Rider to the films Shane (1953) and High Noon (1952). Shane focuses on a mysterious main character who comes to a gold mining town. Clint Eastwood most likely drew inspiration from these two popular western films.
8 – Did the music from the teaser trailer sound familiar to you? That’s because it was also the theme for Britain’s “Channel 4 News”. Pale Rider uses this piece from Alan Hawkshaw, titles “Best Endeavors”. The song is still used on the channel today, although it has been changed a little.
9 – In the film, Clint Eastwood goes to a safe deposit box at a Wells Fargo office to get his guns. The location of this scene was Columbia California, which was a real gold mining town during the 1800s. The town brings in tourists who want a taste of life during the gold rush.
Still from Pale Rider
10 – Near the end of the film, it is implied that Clint Eastwood is a ghost, but this is not the first time he plays a potential ghost. In the film High Plains Drifter (1973), it is implied that Eastwood’s character is a ghost. Both films feature a nameless character as well, with Eastwood being referred to as ‘the Stranger’ in High Plains Drifter.
11 – Clint Eastwood seems like a natural cowboy, but did you know that he had a mild allergy to horses? This explains the gaps between his appearances in western movies. Eastwood was also allergic to cats and dogs, which made it difficult to work with animals on set.
12 – Clint Eastwood often starred as a nameless character in a western movie, but this would be the last role in which he would do so. In addition, Pale Rider is the last movie where Clint Eastwood has a beard.
13 – While working on western films, Clint Eastwood had a producing partner named Fritz Manes. Although he wasn’t an actor, he had a cameo appearance in seven of Eastwood’s films. In Pale Rider, Manes can be seen as a stage rider.
14 – Does the location in Pale Rider look familiar? That’s because the movie Back to the Future III used the same set! The train station, along with other buildings, can be seen in both films. Marty McFly even goes by the name ‘Clint Eastwood’, as a nod to the film. The real Clint Eastwood knew of this reference and found it ‘quite entertaining’.